The Contextual Significance of Clothes and Jewellery

Lived Religion among Pentecostals in South India

Authors

  • Anita Yadala Suneson Church of Sweden

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/pent.43383

Keywords:

Pentecostalism, South India, Indian Christianities, Lived religion, Dress, Jewellery, Hindu-Christian relations, Ceylon Pentecostal Mission, Pentecostal women

Abstract

This article examines the significance of clothes and jewellery among Pentecostal middle-class women in Bangalore, South India. It discusses how they position themselves in relation to a religiously diverse context through their dress. Ways of dressing constitute embodied practices that express religious identity. Moreover, the issue of dress also demonstrates individual Pentecostal laywomen's agency in negotiating official church discourse, as well as the strong connections between lived religion and religious institutions. The methods used in the study are participant observations and qualitative semi-structured interviews with ordinary Pentecostals from two churches. Attitudes and practices relating to dress differ drastically between these two churches, thereby highlighting differences between the two types of South Indian Pentecostalism that they represent. The article illustrates how a focus on gender, embodiment and materiality can draw attention to previously overlooked dimensions of Pentecostalism as lived religion.

Author Biography

Anita Yadala Suneson, Church of Sweden

Anita Yadala Suneson has a PhD in world Christianity and interreligious studies from Uppsala University, Sweden. In her dissertation, she analysed views of religious diversity among Christians from Pentecostal and mainline Protestant churches in Bangalore, South India. She has worked as a lecturer at the Department of Theology, Uppsala University, and currently works with ecumenical and interreligious relations at the Church of Sweden. She is also an affiliated scholar in the India team of an international research project on megachurches in the Global South.

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Published

2021-10-28

How to Cite

Suneson, A. Y. (2021). The Contextual Significance of Clothes and Jewellery: Lived Religion among Pentecostals in South India. PentecoStudies, 20(2), 173–194. https://doi.org/10.1558/pent.43383

Issue

Section

Articles